Monday, August 18, 2014

Who shares about barre classes ...

Good Morning to you!
I hope you are waking up refreshed and ready for the week.

I am waking up a little groggy because of a weekend away, but nothing that a morning run can't fix!
I had a great weekend in Chicago with a lifelong friend and her 2 kids! We played at the pool, played at the park, and sang Disney songs at the top of our lungs. Such a fun weekend, and so glad we have stayed close all of these years.

Last Fall I decided to take the plunge and start teaching Fitness Classes at a local Ann Arbor gym called Vie. (Ann Arbor readers - great gym, owned by 2 great, local ladies!)

I have always LOVED taking group fitness classes because they expose me to new things and new moves - and being part of a group pushes me and also allows me to bond with other active ladies (or men).

Since B was so busy working, and I did have some of my evenings free - I decided it was a perfect time to add Group Fitness Instructor to my list of hobbies (And full disclosure - as an instructor, I get to take other classes for free, HUGE PERK!)

I got certified and started teaching Barre classes and fell in love with the class.
Since I am taking Human Anatomy this Fall and 2 of my evenings are filled to the brim with the class -  I have decided I need to cut back on my fitness classes and tonight is my last Barre class that I am teaching for a while. I am sad because I love teaching (and just doing) the class - and I will miss some of the regulars that come every week.

BUT - in honor of teaching my last class ... I thought I would share some thoughts/tips about barre classes. I know coming to a group fitness class can be a bit intimidating if you do not know what to expect - so hopefully these tips will help and push you to take the plunge and sign up for a new class! (For readers in Ann Arbor - first class at Vie is FREE!)

Barre Class Tips and TidBits 

  • Barre is a generic term 
    • Barre defines a class that uses a ballet barre and uses small, isolated movements set to upbeat music. There are certain types of barre that have their own format - such a PureBarre - and then there are certain nationwide studios that teach different types of Barre classes - such as The Barre Code - and lastly there are gyms that teach barre classes, along with other classes - such as my gym Vie.
    • I was certified by a local gym in Detroit that has its own Barre format - but gives the instructors a lot of flexibility in class
  • Barre uses lighter weights but more repetitions
    • In my first barre class, I thought it was silly we had 3 pound weights  - but as we were doing what felt like our millionth arm exercise in a row, I understood why we had 3 pound weights!
    • For your first class - use the 2 or 3 pound weights and if needed, stop and shake out your arms in the middle of a series
Vie's downtown studio
  • Because Barre uses more reps and longer holds - you need to focus and breath
    •  Your muscles are going to shake - but try to focus and push through! Always listen to your body and take breaks when needed, but if your muscles start shaking (totally normal), you do not need to break right way ... keep pushing a bit longer!
The infamous "Chair Pose" - hard but great!
  • Barre can help your flexibility
    • Barre class helps tone your muscles, but it also involves a lot of stretching! After you rip your muscles holding the "chair pose" for a few minutes, it is important to stretch those muscles you just worked to help them lengthen
    • BUT  - you do not have to be a flexible ballerina to take a class. I am an instructor and I am very inflexible ... but working on it
  • What to wear:
    • Yoga half tights - they are better than shorts, because it will prevent sneaking anyone a peak when you bend over and get in different positions
    • Sleeveless workout top - gives your arms more range of motion
    • Barefoot or grippy sock 
  • Form is really important 
    • Listen to the instructor and make sure you understand the position. This will help prevent injury and also get the most out of the workout.
    • Let your instructor know you are new
  • Get excited to see results! 
    • I can honestly say that since I have been teaching I have noticed that my arms are more toned and my booty is more lifted
Please let me know if you have any other barre questions or group fitness class questions in general! If you are feeling nervous about attending a class - ask a friend to join you and take the plunge!!

How was everyone's weekend?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Julie! I have wondered what Barre is for a while but never looked it up. It looks awesome!



I am not a registered dietitian (yet). My blog is simply a snapshot of my everyday life. The views I express are mine alone, based on my own experiences, and should not be taken as medical advice. Though I am a certified fitness instructor, the workouts I post may not be right for you. Please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your current routine.